DIY Photography Studio Setup is not hugely costly. You can have a DIY Photography Studio at your home if spend around 300 USD. How decent it is to do some experiment with food photography, still life, portraits with artificial light, toy photography. We actually disscussed about the specific niches but except in Studio Portrait Photo and Macro Photography on the Table and DIY Light Box; we have not gone through a guide which can offer a bit bigger scale studio for wider range of stuffs and niche. Definitely the linked guides are useful but too specific. DIY Photography Studio Setup Guide is non niche specific.
DIY Photography Studio Setup Guide : Basics First
The basic and most important point about a DIY photography studio setup is that – you will require at least 150 square feet area, good if its a separate room. This might not be affordable to many, in that case, you have to break the setup and pack-up every-time. As for other types of photography you just need to have the camera and the right lens, in case of a DIY photography studio you need to have flash, stands, reflectors and more. Without these equipments you can not even begin.
Fortunately, for your first experiment, to learn the techniques before going to be more serious, you can start from a simple outfit and above all in an economic way. In this article, we will explain what is the minimum equipments needed to set up a small studio at home. In the next article, we will explain what you can add to have more versatility, as the technology evolves and your budget expands.
DIY Photography Studio Setup Guide
The Bare Necessities for a DIY Photography Studio Setup at Home :
- External flash
- Stand for the flash head
- Umbrella diffuser
- Cable release to control the remote flash
- Soft white non reflective fabric sheets
Any manufacturer of cameras has at least one external flash model that can measure the power fully automatically (TTL). Obviously, the bigger brand of flash light cost more. If you trust only on branded products, the advice that we can give you is do not buy just the base model. For example, the leap in terms of versatility between the base model of Nikon (SB-400) and the direct successor (SB-600) is quite large. We will suggest you to buy an intermediate model. TTL flash with the head tilted vertically and horizontally is a good buy if you intend to use it outside of your DIY photography studio. In fact, it makes the life much easier when you mount it on the camera, in uncontrolled lighting situations.
If you want to save money on this type of flash, various models are available for Nikon and for Canon. These third-party flash keeps the cost much less than the original branded one. You can find it between 150USD to 200USD. However, the good thing is that if you need the flash only for use in the studio, the TTL is not necessary. In fact, if your subject does not move very much and the flash does not move with you, TTL is not required. Therefore, until the position of the flash and the subject, and their relative distance does not change dramatically, the flash will always have the same power. Thus, you can safely set this power only once, after each big change of the positions of the flash and the subject. This means that when your budget is very tight, you can safely save money on buying a manual studio flash. The brands to refer to in this case are Metz, Nissin, Sigma and so on. A manual flash of these brands usually cost less than 100 USD.
Support for flash
Here the things are much easier. To position the flash away from the camera, you must have a proper support. It is an expendable stand with three feet. What you need to consider, though, is that the flash light in 99% of cases, shall be changed or things added, like a common umbrella (or a softbox). If the instrument is large, the weight will increase and it will also be unbalanced with a forward falling tendency. In addition, if you want to use the flash outdoor, you must take into consideration the fact – wind !
In addition to the tripod for flash unit, you will need a support from the top of which you can attach the flash and umbrella. You absolutely can not do anything without it, because without it you can not orient the flash. Total cost is around $50 USD.
The cheapest way to spread the flash is to use the translucent umbrella. Who knows nothing about it – this is just an umbrella. Its shape allows to create a truly effective light in a simple and economic. There are two kinds of umbrellas – translucent and reflective with inner silver coats.
Cable for the remote flash
The cheapest way to control the remote flash is to use a cable. Connect at one end of the camera and then put the flash on the other end. With 50 USD you can get a good one. Just be careful to buy one that is compatible with the brand of your camera.
White bed covers. May be you have some more cheaper local alternatives.
DIY Photography Studio Setup : Conclusion
So, as promised within 300 USD a minimum DIY Photography Studio Setup is Complete. we can assure you that with this spending, you can have fun for hours and especially good enough to take good pictures. In fact, already with a single light you can get good results in product photography and also in case of the portraits. Obviously you can add extra white lights with a translucent paper over the light emitting part if you need. Just remember all needs to have kind of same color of lights.